Our Team

The investigators and lawyers at APPEAL work full time for the charity, investigating and litigating miscarriages of justice and advocating for reform. All APPEAL’s casework staff have experience of working on case investigation in some of the most highly regarded non-proft law practices in the United States, and a comparative systems approach informs their work at APPEAL.


Emily Bolton

After graduation from Tulane Law School in the United States, Emily was awarded an Equal Justice Fellowship and later a Soros Advocacy Fellowship to establish Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO), a non-profit law office providing legal representation to the wrongfully convicted in the United States. IPNO grew from a staff of one to nine during her tenure, and has so far freed 35 innocent prisoners. Returning to the UK in 2004, she helped develop the UK legal action charity Reprieve of which she is a co-founder.

In 2007, working as a UK solicitor, Emily brought a wrongful conviction case to the Court of Appeal via the Criminal Cases Review Commission, as a test of the proposed APPEAL methodology. The Court quashed the conviction in 2010. Emily received an Unltd* Level 1 Award and a Shackleton Leadership Award to work on establishing APPEAL.

Emily is APPEAL’s Director and works largely on challenges to unsafe convictions and on evidence access challenges.


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Suzanne Gower

Suzanne is an experienced solicitor specialising in Criminal Defence Work.  She worked for 10 years in Legal Aid practices in London, Bolton, Manchester and Liverpool, representing clients as a litigator and an advocate in all stages of the criminal justice system from the police station through trial to appeals.  She qualified as a Duty Solicitor under the Law Society’s Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme and also obtained her Higher Rights of Audience to appear as a Solicitor Advocate in criminal cases at the Crown Court. Suzanne has also volunteered as an investigator in Oklahoma City and at the Centre for Equal Justice in New Orleans working on death penalty cases, both pre-trial and appeals. Suzanne spent three years working as Senior Case Officer on the team who represented 22 of the families of the Hillsborough Disaster in the inquests which returned the historic verdict that the 96 victims had been unlawfully killed. Suzanne has an LL.M in International and European Human Rights Law from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights at Utrecht University and was awarded the Max Van Der Stoel Prize for postgraduate research in the field of Human Rights by Tilburg University.

Suzanne has been Managing Director of APPEAL for the last 3 years and is now moving on to take up a PhD on miscarriages of Justice. Emily Bolton will be continuing as Director, and a new Lawyer post is being recruited.


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Naima Sakande

Before joining APPEAL in December 2017, Naima managed programmes for young women affected by gangs in London at the youth charity, Leap Confronting Conflict. She also spent a year working on pre-trial criminal cases as an investigator for the Bronx Defenders, a pro-bono public defence law firm in New York City. She is a trustee of the charity Women in Prison who campaign for radical alternatives to prison for women in the justice system. She is also the creator and host of the podcast, Third Culture, which explores the heritage and stories of people with mixed identities. Naima has a B.A. in International Development from Yale University. 

Naima manages the Women's Justice Initiative at APPEAL.


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Abigail Wheatcroft

Prior to joining APPEAL in January 2017, Abigail worked at the charity Next Link, providing domestic abuse support services to vulnerable women. Before this, she spent 8 months interning at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, working on pre-trial death penalty cases. Abigail has a BA in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies and holds an Advanced Professional Certificate in Investigative Practice.



Abigail is an investigator at APPEAL and is also responsible for processing initial requests for assistance.



James Burley

James is an investigator at APPEAL and is also responsible for communications and resource development.

Prior to joining APPEAL in March 2016, James interned for 3 months at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center in New Orleans, helping to investigate pre-trial capital cases. Before this James volunteered part-time for 6 months on the death penalty team at Reprieve, worked at Skoob Books, and was news editor of London Student. He has a BA in philosophy from University College London and holds an Advanced Professional Certificate in Investigative Practice.



Hannah Swirsky

Hannah Swirsky joined APPEAL as its Parliamentary Officer in April 2019. Hannah's work focuses on fulfilling APPEAL’s duties as Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Miscarriages of Justice. Hannah has worked on developing the APPG since it was established in November 2017, having previously been a Parliamentary Researcher for Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield. 

Alongside working on the APPG, Hannah works part-time at René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights. Hannah is also currently studying for a Masters in Human Rights at the London School of Economics, having previously graduated from Bristol University with a BSc in Politics and International Relations.



Alex Kane

Alex joined APPEAL in 2019 after volunteering with the organisation since December 2018. Prior to that, he studied for an LLM at Queen Mary University of London, specialising in international criminal law, having previously graduated from University College London. Alex also conducts casework and tribunal representation in various areas of social welfare with Citizens Advice and the Free Representation Unit, and has volunteered in the Advice and Information team at Liberty.

Alex is the Clerk to the Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice.

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Board of Trustees


Joe Hingston

Joe Hingston is a practicing barrister in England and Wales, acting exclusively for the defence. He also assists in the representation of individuals facing the death penalty and consults on various death penalty projects with the UK charity Reprieve. Before being called to the Bar, Joe worked for a number years in the United States assisting in the representation of individuals facing the death penalty in America’s Deep South, leading the investigation on behalf of scores of defendants at all stages of the capital trial process. Joe is the Chair of the Board of Directors of APPEAL.



Glyn Maddocks

Glyn Maddocks is a UK solicitor who has worked on wrongful conviction cases for over 20 years. Through his work on appeal cases Glyn has developed a deep understanding and knowledge of the processes and procedures of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Court of Appeal and in obtaining compensation for victims of miscarriage of justice from the Ministry of Justice. In 2005, in recognition of his work over a twelve-year period representing Paul Blackburn, who had his conviction quashed after serving nearly 25 years, Glyn was named Welsh Lawyer of the Year. Glyn is the founding Trustee of APPEAL.



Christopher David 

Chris is Counsel in the London office of US firm, WilmerHale. He specialises in white collar crime, including allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption, insider dealing or money laundering.



Adeela Khan


Adeela is a Criminal Defence Solicitor at Edward Fail, Bradshaw & Waterson.


Advisory Group

APPEAL is supported by an Advisory Group who provide us with a wealth of experience and every-day advice


• Sophie Walker (barrister, One Pump Court, former founding APPEAL Director) 

• Kat Craig (human rights lawyer, director of Athlead) 

• Peter Wilcock QC (barrister, Garden Court Chambers) 

• Calvin Duncan (former wrongfully convicted prisoner) 

• Francis Fitzgibbon QC (criminal barrister, 23 Essex Street) 

• Thom Dyke (criminal barrister, 9 Gough Square)

• Simon Ford (producer of Rough Justice television series) 

• Rikki Garg (prison law specialist, Chair of Prisoners Advice Service) 

• Stephen Heaton (researcher, Staff Director for the Innocence Project at University of East Anglia), 

• Carolyn Hoyle (Oxford Centre for Criminology Miscarriages of Justice specialist) 

• Laura Janes (prison, public law and appeals specialist, legal Director at Howard League) 

• Gareth Peirce (lawyer for Birmingham Six and Guildford Four) 

• Julie Price (Cardiff University Innocence Project) 

• Dr Dennis Eady (Cardiff University Innocence Project) 

• Christopher Riley (Sheffield Hallam University) 

• Jon Robins (legal journalist and Justice Gap editor) 

• Louise Shorter (investigative journalist, Inside Justice) 

• Brian Thornton (journalist and academic) 

• Paramjit Ahluwalia (barrister, Lamb Building Chambers) 

• Clive Stafford Smith (attorney, founder of Reprieve) 

• Former UK prisoners and their family members, who prefer to remain anonymous